Sunday, May 8, 2005

You look a damned fool, America

There are a number of mysteries to life. For example, if macaroni and cheese and eggnog are both so good, why is it so awful when you mix them together?

Similarly, I can inform you from personal experience that a Mountain Dew-flavored milkshake is an all-around bad idea, despite the fact that it sounds like such a good idea. I mean you've got Mountain Dew, you've got a milkshake -- how could you possibly go wrong? It's a mystery.

In theory, at least, some of the mysteries of life can be unraveled. My parents live in a Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb, through which runs a 7-mile stretch of road that has been under construction nonstop since my family moved to the area almost 20 years ago (meanwhile, in St. Paul, where I live, we have potholes so deep that mammoth bones have been found at the bottom). How could they spend that much time working on a road? Especially when it looks the same now as when my family first arrived.

I'm sure that right now you are thinking of a similar or worse situation on the roads in your own municipality. And, as I say, in theory we should be able to do something about it. We should be able to determine what the heck is going on.

Of course, you and I know that it's a mystery that will remain unsolved. If road crews can spend two decades blocking traffic and "working" on a road that never seems to change in appearance, they can easily stall your queries on the matter until well after both you and your children and their children have shuffled free of this mortal coil.

But there are some mysteries that we cannot ignore. There are some issues that we simply must confront. There are some questions that, no matter how difficult, now matter how awful the truth may be, we must answer.

The question that I have is this: At what point did it become OK again for teenagers to wear their hats sideways? What malevolent fashion consultant of Satan approved this look?

When I was in high school -- 11 years ago -- the sideways baseball cap was popular for about a week. The boys of my suburban school desperately tried to strut their stuff whilst sporting a sideways baseball cap and they were laughed off campus by even the blind students.

I assumed that, like the practice of bloodletting, this fashion statement had since died away and would never return -- its resurgence prohibited by its sheer stupidity.

Sadly, shockingly, I was wrong. Just this past weekend, as I traveled along a certain perpetually under-construction stretch of road, I looked over and saw a teenage boy with his hat cocked sideways. No one was in the car with him, so he couldn't claim to have been hit in the head -- he had chosen to wear his hat that way.

Later that day, at a mall, I saw another boy with a sideways hat. And another. And another. And then, like Robert Redford in the totally forgettable film "Havana," I threw my arms to the sky and screamed: "What has happened here?"

I'm not trying to be a prude. I can suffer some regressive trends. If the president wants to cut Social Security to levels from a time before roadwork started on Interstate 494, that's fine. If Hollywood wants to make a "Bewitched" remake, I'm not going to complain. Heck, if people want to bring back bloodletting, I'll keep my mouth shut. But this?! This sideways hat thing is just wrong!

Hat forward = OK

Hat backward = OK

Hat sideways = TOTAL GOOBER

Sometimes society must take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and say: "I look like a fool."

Now is that time, America. We must take a stand against sideways baseball caps. We must uncover the mystery of what menacing force brought this trend back to the world of high school fashion (my guess? the liberal media) and we must put a stop to it before it's too late.

Then we can move onto greater mysteries, like Celine Dion's show in Las Vegas -- who would pay hard-earned money to see that?


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Next you'll be telling me that it's wrong for me to put on my shorts over my head.

Damn Fashion Police....

Astrid said...

"For example, if macaroni and cheese and eggnog are both so good, why is it so awful when you mix them together?" --> Coz you need to add another yummy ingredient to it, like tomato ketchup!!!

Willow said...

Oh, the sideways cap thing is all the rage in Europe. And I'm not even kidding. You simply haven't lived till you've stood waiting for a train in Glarus and witnessed three young Swiss men in sideways baseball caps and up-turned collars rapping in German. It's something I'll certainly never forget. The moral of the story? We Americans aren't that bad.

Though we really must remember that whatever trend we start can, and will, spread to Europe once it's long past cool here. The whole Wasssssssup thing is just starting there. *shiver*

Dave Morris said...

I had a neighbor that asked me for free Celine Dion tickets in Vegas. He wanted me to use my connections to a radio station there to score them.

When he returned, he went on and ON about how great the show was. I just stood there with a blank look on my face and wondered when he was due back at the sanitarium.

Chris Cope said...

Dave, your neighbor must be removed from society. There is something deeply, deeply wrong with him.

And Willow, like you say, once we start these trends they refuse to die -- all the more reason to cease sideways hat wearing as soon as possible. Not just for the good of the nation, but the good of the planet!

Anonymous said...

I don't care what they do with hats in high school. I just wish they'd hike up their pants.

Lara said...

I always have to practice a boatload of restraint not to go knock the sideways hat off of the head that it is perched on.